Montana elected officials will see their salaries increase in July

HELEN, Mont. (AP) — Most Montana state elected officials expect a pay rise soon under a state law that requires comparative pay increases every two years.

The Montana Legislature passed laws in 1995 that require the state’s Department of Administration to conduct surveys comparing the salaries of elected executive branch officials and state judges with the same positions in the state. Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming, reported the Independent Record.

Under the law, Supreme Court justices and district court judges will receive a 4.2% raise on July 1. The salary of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court will increase from $151,486 to $157,784, the average salary for Chief Justices in other states.

The lieutenant governor and clerk of the Supreme Court will not get a raise, according to the data.

The investigation that determines any salary changes is conducted before the end of June of every even-numbered year, officials said. The new salary then takes effect on July 1 of the following year.

This year’s changes will be in effect until June 30, 2023. However, elected officials can choose not to accept all or part of the increase. It’s not immediately clear if any official turned down the raise.

Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte, who will receive a raise of more than $4,000, said he would donate his entire salary to various philanthropic organizations statewide. These philanthropies have not yet been announced. His office released a statement Friday saying he would earn $122,693, which will be donated quarterly.

Gianforte said state employees outside the survey will get a 55-cent-per-hour raise in the next fiscal year under different laws.

William M. Mayer